Elon Musk could resign as Twitter CEO if he follows through on his promise to let users decide.
Musk tweeted a poll Sunday evening asking people to vote on whether he should step down as Twitter’s CEO. Musk said he would abide by the poll’s results.
With less than four hours remaining before the closing of the poll he initiated, 56.4% of Twitter users voted he should resign with 43.6% saying he should continue.
More than 13 million people have voted so far.
Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
In several follow-up tweets, Musk suggested that he was serious about leaving and made a vague threat about Twitter’s future if he is voted out.
“As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it,” Musk tweeted.
Replying to a tweet Sunday, in which MIT artificial intelligence researcher Lex Fridman said he would take the CEO job, Musk hinted he hasn’t been completely happy with his new gig.
“You must like pain a lot,” Musk tweeted, noting the company “has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy since May.”
Yet Musk denied that he has a new CEO in mind.
“No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor,” Musk tweeted. “The question is not finding a CEO, the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive.”
Elon Musk’s controversial tenure as Twitter CEO
Since buying Twitter for $44 billion and taking over as CEO in late October, Musk has journeyed from one controversy to the next.
The latest controversy erupted when he suspended the accounts belonging to several prominent journalists covering the company’s owner, Elon Musk, a day after he vowed to sue the owner of a profile that tracks his jet.
Reporters for The New York Times, CNN, and The Washington Post were among those who found themselves locked out of their accounts.
Musk, who was briefly dethroned as the world’s richest man recently, said in a tweet that “criticising me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not”.
He added that accounts engaged in doxxing, which refers to the release of private information about individuals online, receive a temporary seven-day suspension.
The United Nations and the European Union condemned his decision. The UN tweeted that media freedom is “not a toy” while the EU has threatened Twitter with sanctions.
Melissa Fleming, the UN’s under secretary general for global communications, said she was “deeply disturbed” by reports that journalists were being “arbitrarily” suspended from Twitter.
“Media freedom is not a toy,” she said. “A free press is the cornerstone of democratic societies and a key tool in the fight against harmful disinformation.”
Earlier on Friday, EU commissioner Vera Jourova threatened Twitter with sanctions under Europe’s new Digital Services Act which she said requires “the respect of media freedom and fundament rights”.
“Elon Musk should be aware of that. There are red lines. And sanctions, soon,” she added.